Madrid’s Players Hurt, Desperate To React -Solari

Santi Solari

Real Madrid’s squad is desperate to turn around the club’s fortunes after a miserable run under former coach Julen Lopetegui, according to interim boss Santi Solari.
Los Blancos suffered a fourth Liga loss in five games when they were beaten 5-1 by Barcelona in El Clasico last Sunday, a result that signalled the end of Lopetegui’s tenure at the Santiago Bernabeu .
Lopetegui was dismissed on Monday, with Castilla coach Solari handed control until a permanent successor is found.
The former Madrid midfielder, who won two league titles and the 2001-02 Champions League in five years at the club, took training for the first time yesterday, and he says the squad is determined to get back to winning ways.
“They are a bit hurt,” he told a media conference when asked about the players. “But they are looking forward to turning this situation around.
“This is a group of champions, a group of hard workers who have won lots of things for this club.
“It is not the easiest of situations but I saw them in the mood to turn things around and change things.
He added: “This is a delicate moment but it is in these situations when your true character comes out.”
The 42-year-old is not expected to be a long-term appointment, with Antonio Conte the number one candidate , but Solari hopes to grab his chance to impress.
“I’m going to try and do everything I can, it’s a great opportunity, a great club,” he added.
“I don’t just say that as the coach of the first team, I have been at this club for other things. I’ve played, I’ve sweated for this club.
“Madrid is bigger than all of us, I just want to be part of it.”
Solari will take charge of today’s Copa del Rey clash with Melilla, and he has one aim, to win the first leg of the tie.
He said: “The idea is to go to Melilla and play with real courage and pride.
“I would expect us to go into the game and give everything, and I expect them to as well.